101.9 K-rock Cuts Staff, Flips to Country a.k.a. How the FCC is Killing Local Radio

New England-based Great Eastern Radio has flipped Keene rocker 101.9 K-Rock (WKKN) to a simulcast of KIXX Country 100.5 (WXXK) out of Lebanon and also cut staff dramatically, to where Elise Valentine is the only member remaining. Valentine will still be heard during 3-7p afternoon drive on the “new” country 101.9 in afternoon drive.

With at least three country stations broadcasting from the area already, is another one really necessary? Apparently Great Eastern thinks so.

Great Eastern’s other transmitter in the market, their sports talk station, “WEEI” 93.5 (WEEY) is a simulcast of Boston sports talker WEEI. It has zero local content and doesn’t even have its own website.

This means Great Eastern Radio’s stations “in Keene” are now being run by a skeleton crew of Elise Valentine and maybe a contract engineer. It’s sad, but that’s what’s become of corporate radio – constant cuts and consolidation.

National radio operator Saga does deserve credit for doing a decent job with their station cluster in town, the Monadnock Radio Group. If Great Eastern thinks they’re going to make compelling local radio by cutting costs and staff to the bone, they will probably learn their mistake hard and fast and possibly end up failing and sell the stations.

Meanwhile, local current-rock listeners are screwed as far as on-air options are concerned. Of course, they could always start up their own radio station with all the open channels on the radio dial in this area. All they have to do is apply for and receive a license from the FCC…

Oh wait – no, they can’t. The FCC, according to local newsman Brad Ryder, has been sitting on a couple of station applications for nearly a decade! Ryder reports that he and the Monadnock Radio Group had applied for the same open frequency and the FCC has yet to decide to whom it should be granted.

You may be asking, “Why did they both apply for the same frequency?” (more…)

Ryder for City Council Campaign Ads

Two weeks before election day, the crew behind the campaign to elect Nick Ryder to City Council has released 4 promotional clips. They play back to back in the below embedded video:

Campaign staff will also be ramping up brochure distribution in the final weeks to spread Ryder’s name and idea recognition. He is the only candidate bringing anything resembling a new perspective to the Council race saturated with incumbents and former councilmen. This is made clear when he is the only candidate that media hosts debate with during interviews.

Another Free Keene Supporter Arrested – For What This Time?

For What?

That’s the question Andrew Quemere was asking himself as he was walked from his workplace to the Keene Police Department this morning. Apparently arrested for loitering in the back of a truck. However, Andrew was assigned by his workplace to be in the back of that truck. While exercising his right to not show ID, Andrew does not appear to have been confrontational or aggressive; he simply wanted to get back to work.

But when officer Chris Simonds threatened to throw him into the parking lot pavement, Andrew followed the officers’ commands and was handcuffed. Charged with “Obstructing Government Administration”, he was released on $2000 PR bond and has an arraignment date of August 10, 2009.

More details are in the embedded video:

Keene Police Take Car Off Private Property

**Please see [Read More] for the answer to this question from Lt Maxfield**

Why, on April 12, 2009, did the Keene Police take this car off a private driveway? Was this an unwelcome visitor to this property? Was there an issue with the owner’s temporary license plates? Was there “contraband” found inside the vehicle? It should also be noted that the car was driven to the flatbed, so the police had the car’s keys as well.


OK, I’m going to “address your concerns.”


Jesse Arrested While Attempting Public Garden

In an act of civil disobedience in response to a recent City Council decision to grant $5000 to a private organization for a food co-op study, Jesse attempts to start another public food source in downtown Keene. He was planning to till and supplement the soil downtown into land he could plant vegetable seeds in. Jesse says he did not want money or any other compensation for his work. He just wanted the public to have access to a garden. You can read about Jesse’s plan in his own words on this recent FreeKeene post.

Fifteen to twenty minutes after Jesse arrives downtown, Lt. Shane Maxfield interferes with Jesse’s work and arrests him. Jesse is booked at the police station, and released with a $120 ticket for violation of:

Sec. 82-32. Excavations.
(a) No person(s), company, corporation, or any other entity shall excavate or otherwise disturb any surface (shoulders, ditches, embankments, swales, pavement, etc.) of any city street, highway, sidewalk, right-of-way or city owned property without consent of the public works department. Any person(s), company, corporation, or any other entity shall restore such excavation or disturbance to a condition as good as before the excavation or disturbance occurred with the expense of such restoration to be assumed by such person(s), company, corporation, or entity. The work of excavation, disturbance, removal and restoration of the surface shall in all such cases be done under the supervision of the public works director or designee.

As reported by FreeKeene’s Ian, Jesse says he will not consent to any fines, and will take the issue into the court.